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North Korea Threatens to Pull Out of U.S. Summit; Palestine Holds Funerals for Slain Protesters; Trump's Intervention on China's ZTE Raises Questions; T.V.'s Piers Morgan Rips Into Markle's Half- Sister; Prince Harry To Marry Meghan Markle Saturday; Royal Family's Evolving Response To Tabloid Media; Celtics Take Commanding 2-0 Lead Versus Cavaliers; Marseille Face Atletico Madrid In Final Wednesday; Many Teams Reveal World Cup Squads. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired May 16, 2018 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): This is CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles. Ahead this hour: North Korea threatens to bail on the Trump-Kim meeting hours after suspending talks with the South. Why Pyongyang says it won't be pushed into a corner.
First came the deadly protests, now the blame game between Israelis and the Palestinians over the recent violence in Gaza.
Also ahead, the latest details in the will he-won't he royal wedding plans for father of the bride, Thomas Markle.
Hello and welcome to our viewers all around the world. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause. This is the third hour of NEWSROOM L.A.
VAUSE: North Korea is doubling down on its threat to cancel next month's summit between Kim Jong-un and President Trump. Earlier, the North suggested the summit could be in jeopardy because of a new round of joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea.
The North called the drills "a deliberate military provocation" and suspended high-level talks with South Korea hours before they were scheduled to begin. And now an official quoted by North Korean state media says, "If the Trump administration is genuinely committed to improving North Korea-U.S. relations and come out to the North Korea- U.S. summit, they will receive a deserving response.
"But if they try to push us into the corner and force only unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in that kind of talks and will have to reconsider whether we will accept the upcoming North Korea-U.S. summit."
Live now to CNN's Paula Hancocks in Seoul. Two messages coming out of the North: the first seemed quite subdued by North Korean standards. Next one came out a few hours after that, much more explicit, certainly laying it out for the United States, what they expect from this summit.
HANCOCKS: That's right, John. It took some by surprise. It seemed to take the White House and the State Department by surprise. Even officials here because the South Korean delegation was about to go up to the DNZ to meet with a North Korean delegation, to continue high- level talks.
But that was canceled because of those Max Thunder drills as you said. But this suggestion by the KCNA state-run media, saying that if they are pushed into a corner and if they do see that the U.S. is expecting unilateral denuclearization, then potentially they will walk away from this summit.
And certainly that appears to be what Washington is hoping for at this point. They want denuclearization of North Korea but at this point we don't know what the Trump administration is willing to give in return.
So I think what many experts here are seeing this as is a reset from North Korea and a show that that they will have demands ahead of this summit as well, potentially the first beginnings of negotiations, even before this summit happens.
But, of course, it is key now how the White House and how the U.S. president responds to this -- John.
VAUSE: And Paula, the talks which -- with South Korea which were canceled by the North, they were essentially a follow up to that Kim- Moon meeting last month.
So does that mean that any progress which was made at that summit, is that now on hold?
HANCOCKS: Certain it is for today. I don't think anyone expects it to be on hold for the short-term or long-term. The fact is that most Koreas have signed this Panmunjom declaration, which was an agreement between the two leaders, which said that they would cease hostilities.
This is the key point that the North Koreans are focusing on today, saying that this Max Thunder Air Force drill is clearly a sign of hostility, which the South Koreans and the U.S. say it is not because they say it is annual, it is defensive and it is simply military training for both of their air forces.
So the meeting today was expected to be getting into the nitty-gritty of how relations can improve between North and South Korea. We were expecting vice ministers of railways from either side to be -- to be talking as well, so potentially looking at more economic cooperation, opening up a railway between North and South Korea, or reopening, I should say.
So certainly it is a setback and the South Koreans through the unification ministry have said that it is not really in keeping with the spirit of the Panmunjom declaration to do this.
But I don't think anyone thinks that it's on hold for the long term -- John.
VAUSE: Paula Hancocks, live for us Seoul with the latest. We appreciate it. Thank you.
Let's go to Philip Yun now. He's the executive director of the Ploughshares Fund, former adviser on --
VAUSE: -- North Korea to President Bill Clinton. He's with us from San Francisco.
I guess let the brinksmanship begin. That initial statement from North Korea was pretty tepid. Some people had speculated it was just a bluff, especially given past statements and threats coming from the North Koreans.
But now that we have a much more strongly worded statement, still it is tepid or not as strong as other threats that the North Koreans have made in the past.
But does this suggest to you that the North Koreans now are not bluffing, this is serious?
PHILIP YUN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PLOUGHSHARES FUND: Well, the real negotiations are starting right now. Quite frankly, I was waiting for this to happen. Talk to North Korea, I've been in hundreds of hours of negotiations with them scores (ph) and never is a negotiation a straight line.
At some point they're going to make things bumpy and this is what's happening now. The key question is why are they doing this now?
Some people are talking that there may be a genuine disagreement within North Korea and the leadership, I'm kind of doubtful of that but we have to realize that North Korea is not a monolith and these statements have been relatively low level.
So there may be some kind of lack of coordination or some people trying to make their voice known.
The second thing is they're genuinely concerned about these war exercises. B-52s are a part of this, which the North Koreans absolutely dislike. They've told us that and they don't like those bombing runs.
And there's some discussion that we may be pulling back on the B-52 parts of this as well.
The third, be totally tactical and just to see how much more leverage they could have, knowing that the South Korean president Moon Jae-in and Donald Trump have put a lot of stock into this. We have been building this up. So now they pull the rug from out under us and they're going to see how much more leverage they have on this. But I do think that it is all about denuclearization. As Kim Gye-won (ph), the vice minister -- I've met him several times -- he said we're not to give them up. It's all about timing.
Do you give them up now, which is what the United States wants, or do they give them up later, which is what North Korea wants?
And so this is the negotiation. This is the -- this is where the rubber meets the road.
VAUSE: But on the military drills, Philip, just to be clear here, back in March the South Korean national security adviser stood in front of the White House and said Kim Jong-un realized that those military exercises, which had been delayed for the Winter Olympics, he understood that they would go ahead and the impression the South Koreans gave was that Kim Jong-un was fine with that.
Now those exercises are over. These are new military drills just out and involving the Air Force and the B-52s.
But why complain about those exercises now?
They've known that this new round of military exercises were about to begin and they started on Monday.
So why complain now?
YUN: Yes, so it's really interesting. These are -- they requested the talks but what's going on is -- the discussion is that the North- South declarations said no hostile action. And so while they can tolerate a certain amount, the -- I guess the logic goes that the B- 52s, which is a part of this, may be a road too far.
It is really unclear and the only way we can find out is having a conversation with them for clarification as to what is it that that they really mean.
As I said there's some discussion -- we don't know if it's actually true or not -- that's the B-52s may no longer be a part of this. But we've know for a long time that this is something they really dislike. It's unclear whether or not we just didn't read the tea leaves right and went ahead with it, knowing that there was some sensitivity and not to give the North Koreans any pretext for making excuse.
VAUSE: Recently when Donald Trump has talked about Kim Jong-un, he's been very flattering. He's used complimentary language like this last month. Listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: So we're having very, very good discussions. Kim Jong-un was -- he really has been very open and, I think, very honorable from everything we're seeing. Now a lot of promises have been made by North Korea over the years. But they've never been in this position.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Is the U.S. president now learning that maybe Kim Jong-un isn't quite so open, quite so honorable, quite straightforward as he thought?
YUN: Well I can't speak for what Donald Trump is thinking. I've got to believe that his advisors say expect something, expect the unexpected. This is what is part and parcel, when you negotiate with North Korea.
And so as I said, the real negotiations are beginning right now. And it's going to be a sense of brinkmanship. you know.
Who is going to be able to hold out longer?
And the North Koreans feel like they have some leverage. I think there's also some feeling that the Iran deal is also having an effect on this. The U.S. administration is getting roundly criticized for pulling out.
There is some sense that Donald Trump needs to have a win or have some success on North Korea. And so I think what the North Koreans are doing, let's test this. Let's see how far we can push and see what happens.
So this, in that sense, is very classic North Korean negotiating behavior.
VAUSE: Yes, I guess as far as canceling the South Korean meeting, it's one thing to walk out on South Korean government officials. It's another thing to cancel a summit with the U.S. president, which they've been after for quite some time.
Philip, appreciate it. Thank you.
YUN: Thank you.
VAUSE: To Malaysia now. Former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has just been pardoned and released from prison. Anwar's case has dominated Malaysian politics for years. The 70-year old was jailed on sodomy charges in 2015, charges which he called politically motivated.
Now that he is allowed to reenter politics, he could succeed the country's new leader, Mahathir Mohamad, who won last week's election and has promised at some point to step down.
Kuwait will present a draft resolution at the U.N. in the coming days, aimed at protecting Palestinians. Protests in Gaza gave way to funerals on Tuesday, a day after 60 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces.
The British government is demanding an independent inquiry and E.U. leaders are raising concerns about Israel's use of deadly force. But the United States and Israel are standing firm, blaming Hamas for the violence.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NIKKI HALEY, U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE U.N.: Those who suggest that the Gaza violence had anything to do with the location of the American embassy are sorely mistaken. Rather, the violence comes from those who reject the existence of the state of Israel in any location.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: CNN's Ian Lee is live this hour in Gaza. Oren Liebermann standing by also in Jerusalem.
But Ian, first to you, these protests in Gaza began 45 days ago. While they may have been calm, there on Tuesday, it seems unlikely Gazans are about to stop now.
IAN LEE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This is a new movement we're seeing in Gaza, John. By and large these protests, people have come out in the large numbers, the largest numbers that we have seen in Gaza in a protest in years.
And the people are saying that they want to keep up this pressure.
Now will they be able to do that?
Monday was that day where we saw tens of thousands of people go out and protest. But then the following day, yesterday, we didn't see those large numbers. And so we will be able -- we will be watching to see if they can keep up this momentum.
When we were talking to people, you know, we heard from Nikki Haley there. She is blaming Hamas for being behind these protests.
But when we were talking to people in the camps yesterday, one thing that they told us was they wished there was support from the different political factions. They don't think they're getting enough support.
So you have that from the people wishing that they had more backing, to get more people out there. So we'll have to see if they can actually motivate and get people going. But as far as for Hamas, for the other political factions, really for the organizers of this movement, it has, for the most part for them, been fairly successful.
They've been able to get the international community to focus on Gaza once again. And also they been able to keep up that pressure against Israel. We have seen that soaring death toll, which is now over 100 people over the past seven weeks.
But they have been able to get the focus on Gaza and also you could say get more criticism on Israel for their part in the past seven weeks of protest -- John.
VAUSE: Ian, thank you. To Oren now in Jerusalem.
Oren, if history is any guide, you look back to the First Intifada, back in 1998, it started at Gaza; it started with civilians and men, women and children and what was seen as excessive force used by the Israelis in response.
Once again we're seeing international condemnation for Israel, from Monday's death toll in Gaza. It does seem in some ways history is repeating itself.
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: And that is so often the case here, John, as you rightly point out. Israel's defending its use of live force and that, in and of itself, is no surprise.
What we're seeing, though -- and you pointed this out right at the beginning -- is that even Israel's staunchest allies are questioning that use of force, not only the U.K. calling for an independent, transparent third-party investigation but others doing so as well.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tried to head that off. Last night he was on the phone with the German Chancellor, the French president, trying to plead Israel's case in that point.
But if you're talking about what sort of condemnation will come -- and or will turn into action because we've seen the condemnation come from human rights organizations, from certainly the Palestinians and from other countries, what will come at the U.N. Security Council, that's where Israel is assured that it has U.S. protection there.
And that would be something that Israel effectively knows at this point. It is worth going back to the last independent U.N. commission, the Gladstone commission that his own fact-finding mission on the '09 Gaza War. Neither Israel nor Hamas cooperated with --
LIEBERMANN: -- that investigation. And its findings didn't change anything on the ground here.
And that perhaps, John, is part of the tragedy, that regardless of what comes out here, very few facts on the ground have changed on either side of the Gaza-Israel border.
VAUSE: Except for life in Gaza is getting more miserable by the day, more crowded and more desperate, I guess. Oren, thank you, Oren live for us there in Jerusalem.
When we come back here, Donald Trump has warned he willing to walk away from the summit with North Korea. Now North Korea is making that same threat.
Is Kim Jong-un trying to out-Trump Trump?
VAUSE: More now on our top story. North Korea is threatening to pull out of next month's summit between leader Kim Jong-un and the U.S. president Donald Trump if Washington insists on pushing it into a corner, as they say, on nuclear disarmament.
It has also suspended high-level talks with South Korea, which had been planned to get underway hours ago. North Korean state TV reports Pyongyang is also upset over military drills between the U.S. and South Korea, calling them "provocative military disturbances."
Early on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department said, for now, it's not changing its plans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HEATHER NAUERT, U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON: Kim Jong-un had said previously that he understands the need and the utility of the United States and the Republic of Korea continuing in its joint exercises, their exercises that are legal, that were planned well, well in advance.
We have not heard anything from that government or the government of South Korea to indicate that we would not continue conducting these exercises or that we would not continue planning for our meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un next month.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: With us now, Democratic strategist and associate professor of politics at Occidental College, Caroline Heldman.
And Republican strategist Chris Faulkner.
OK, Tuesday afternoon, not long after this news broke, the U.S. president had nothing to say reporters when he was asked about the threat coming from that very nice, open and honorable Kim Jong-un, as Donald Trump calls him, to cancel next month's summit.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) the summit, Mr. President?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) Kim Jong-un, sir?
Will you still meet with him?
Will you go to Singapore?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: And maybe because, as CNN's Jeff Zeleny has reported, Donald Trump and the administration was totally blindsided by this North Korean threat and, like everyone else, the president found out about this from watching television news, some of Jeff's reporting.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JEFF ZELENY, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: This is one thing that senior administration officials, some of them, have quietly worried and wondered about.
What could North Korea do to potentially disrupt this summit?
Is President Trump acting too eager for this summit to happen here?
Has he removed the leverage from these discussions?
As all of this has still been coming in and sorted through, I'm told by an administration official, look for some other type of reaction possibly from the White House --
ZELENY: -- once they sort of get a handle on what is going on.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Chris, first to you, isn't this why you sort out all of these issues before you announce a summit between the two leaders so that you don't get into a situation where the North Koreans are actively for publicly to can the thing?
CHRIS FAULKNER, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: I think it's safe to say that you try and apply a rational perspective to irrational players you're always going to be disappointed.
No one has proven themselves to be less rational than the North Korean dictatorship and regime. Clearly there are people in control there and not just Kim Jong-un. There are obviously people, generals, people around him, that their whole basis for power is crisis.
And if you remove that sort of crisis, you're removing their power base. So inevitably there are going to be people that are going to try and disrupt this process. I lived in Seoul for 3.5 years. And it is an incredibly personal and tumultuous process between the two Koreas and particularly North Korea.
VAUSE: Caroline, given how much hype the president has given this summit and how much he's built it up and how much is riding on him politically, coming up on the midterms and domestically, at least, is he over a barrel here with the North Koreans?
CAROLINE HELDMAN, DEMOCRATIC STRATEGIST: I think the summit will happen. I think that this is just a standard in the playbook of Kim Jong-un, where you build up expectations, you make promises, it looks like progress is going to happen.
And then you choose something like, I don't know, annual drills, that he knew were going to take place, and you use that as an excuse to gain more leverage in the process. I think there is no way that North Korea's going to give up its nukes. It's just way too important a component of their foreign policy.
And so this is just simply to give him more leverage and more concessions leading up to the summit.
VAUSE: And no way they're willing to give up a chance to sit down with the U.S. president, which is what they've wanted for decades.
HELDMAN: Well, exactly. So we know what we want. We want the nukes gone. We want that contained.
What do they want?
He certainly wants to sit down with Donald Trump and act as though he is equivalent to the U.S. president and, in fact, having Donald Trump squirm right now gives him basically a propaganda, a coup, where he is in a position of power over a U.S. president. So it's only a win for him.
VAUSE: OK, so (INAUDIBLE) new questions over the presidents decision to ease sanctions on China's ZTE, the smartphone maker, have been penalized for violating sanctions on Iran and North Korea.
To Matt Rivers now in Beijing.
Matt, this past Sunday, the president tweeted that he was working with Xi Jinping to going to ZTE back into business to save Chinese jobs.
But two days before that, came a report in the "South China Morning Post," "A subsidiary of China's state-owned construction firm, Metallurgical Corporation of China, MCC, signed deal with Indonesia's MNC Land to build a theme park outside Jakarta.
"The project includes Trump-branded hotels, residences and a golf course as well as other hotels, shopping and residential developments. The deal is the latest to raise questions about the extent of Trump's final exposure to Beijing."
What more do we know about this $500 million loan and the possible connection here with that decision to try and save ZTE?
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: To be clear, John, there's no evidence yet that has been presented, publicly, that the Trump Organization and this deal in Indonesia has anything to do with what the president tweeted about ZTE.
But let's walk our viewers through a quick timeline here.
2015: the Trump Organization agrees to a licensing agreement with this theme park, with the company behind it, called MNC Group.
Fast forward, June 2016: the Chinese company that's involved here agrees in principle to help develop this theme park.
Then fast-forward again towards last week: that principal, an agreement is finalized.
And then a couple days later, you get the Trump tweet about ZTE.
Now there have been a couple responses; the Trump Organization said the deals had nothing to do with the China-backed development and the MNC Group, the owner of the theme park, said that the theme park project is wholly owned by MNC Land and has no relationship to the Trump Organization.
Now to be fair, we have seen this pattern by Chinese construction companies all over the world, backing projects like this. It is part of the One Belt, One Road initiative that the government here is really pushing.
But given Donald Trump's position as president, given the fact that he has not fully sold his ownership stake in the Trump Organization and given the fact that the U.S. and China are locked in these trade negotiations -- a Chinese delegation is in D.C. right now, even the appearance of impropriety is something needs to be examined, needs to be looked at.
But, John, to be clear, so far there is no evidence that has been presented publicly that this ZTE announcement -- which, admittedly, was very unexpected -- has anything to do with this project in Indonesia.
VAUSE: Matt, thank you, Matt Rivers there in Beijing.
But, Caroline, regardless of everything that Matt said, this is why there is an emoluments clause in the Constitution.
HELDMAN: That's right. It says that you can't actually benefit financially from your time in office. So that's a suspicious deal. What's also suspicious about this is that ZTE, in April, Trump's administration decided that this company had been lying to the United States for so long, had been violating all of these agreements not to sell to Iran, not to sell the North Korea, that they posed --
HELDMAN: -- a security threat.
So Donald Trump, for some strange reason, is backing this Chinese company that only has to do with Chinese jobs, regardless of whatever he is trying to say about American jobs. And at the end of the day, it poses a national security threat, according to his own administration.
So what is his motive?
VAUSE: So Chris, is it odd that the president is willing to ignore ZTE's violation of Iran and North Korean sanctions?
Is it odd that he reversed course on what was a core campaign promise during the election, odd that he ignored a 2012 House intelligence report, which found ZTE "cannot be trusted to be free of foreign state influence and thus poses a security threat to the United States and to our systems?
Ain't it odd?
FAULKNER: It's only odd when you take this whole thing out of the entire context of entire trade negotiations with China. This isn't just about a cell phone manufacturer. This isn't about a golf course in Indonesia.
This is about U.S. foreign agricultural products being exported to China. This is about billions of dollars of U.S. exports to China, both in ag and as well as other commodities.
This is one part of an overall larger aspect. Of course, people are going to try and draw pictures of collusion, that there's somehow an Indonesian group that bought franchise rights, that somehow is connected after the fact to a Chinese corporation, who then is going to somehow benefit.
It's a stretch.
HELDMAN: But Chris --
HELDMAN: -- put us here, though, right?
Because -- yes, because of the aluminum and steel tariffs, the fact that China is now threatening --
HELDMAN: Trump started a trade war and now we are paying --
FAULKNER: -- not a trade war.
VAUSE: If Trump had put his company in a blind trust in the first place, and actually stuck to the statement that his lawyer made back in January 2017, which is no new foreign deals will be made whatsoever during the duration of President Trump's presidency, if they had stuck to that, this wouldn't be happening.
FAULKNER: I believe the timeline specifically was 2015, was when those rights were negotiate with the Indonesia company --
VAUSE: This is a $500 million deal now.
FAULKNER: Right. It happened after -- 2015 -- after --
HELDMAN: -- last week.
FAULKNER: -- after the Trump Organization was already involved. VAUSE: But again, there is reporting also in that "South China
Morning Post," that Donald and Eric Trump have been actively involved in these negotiations as well. So they are involved directly with the -- with this project.
And if the president had isolated his businesses in some kind of blind trust, we wouldn't even be talking about this.
FAULKNER: Agreed, you're right. We probably shouldn't have closed down The Clinton Foundation as well because (INAUDIBLE) donations while she was secretary of state was a bad idea.
HELDMAN: I don't know if you know this but Hillary Clinton is not the president. So maybe if we focus on who's actually in power that would be great.
VAUSE: -- Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton. Come on.
FAULKNER: I'm just looking for a little --
VAUSE: Fair point. OK, Chris and Caroline, thank you both.
The on again-off again plans to attend the royal wedding are off again. The reason Meghan Markle's father says he will not be walking her down the aisle after all.
[02:30:15] JOHN VAUSE, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: And welcome back. You're watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angeles, I'm John Vause with the headlines this hour. North Korea is threatening to cancel the summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump planned for next month. An official quoted by state media says North Korea will not be pushed into a corner on nuclear abandonment, the North is also upset over a joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea. They postponed talks with the South scheduled for Wednesday.
Thousands of Palestinians (INAUDIBLE) Tuesday for the funerals of protesters killed in clashes with Israeli forces. The British government is calling for an independent inquiry into the violence. And European leaders say they're concerned by Israel's use of live ammunition on demonstrators. A top European Union official says the meeting with Iran's Foreign Minister was positive. Plans are being made to try and salvage the Iran nuclear deal after the U.S. withdrawal. Meantime, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran's Central Bank governor and also an Iraq-based bank for moving money for Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
A little bit of Disneyland. OK. The latest now in the family drama surrounding the royal wedding. Father of the bride, Thomas Markle will miss the wedding because of heart surgery on Wednesday. A day earlier, he told TMZ he wanted to walk Meghan down the aisle. This was after he said he'd stay away because of a scandal mistaking photos to the paparazzi. Now, he tells TMZ he couldn't attend the wedding after all because of the surgery. None of these makes any sense, so for more, let's go to Isha Sesay live at Windsor with the very latest. Oh, my God (INAUDIBLE). OK. This doesn't make any sense. Who puts themselves in the hospital for heart surgery like on a day's notice?
ISHA SESAY, CNN INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Come on now, John. OK. As the story goes as told to TMZ, Meghan's dad had a heart attack about a week ago, we're told. And this surgery that he'll be having on Wednesday is correct, damage -- that essentially was caused by that event if you will.
He has been under tremendous amount of stress we're told by Meghan's half-sister and he himself has said that, you know, he's found this whole issue and the controversy surrounding this being pictured very distressing and anyway basing that he says he's not well enough to travel because he must go in for the surgery. I think, you know, the truth of it and whether it is truly -- he can't fly, I mean, we don't know, CNN hasn't been able to confirm it. We reached out to the main hospital in Mexico (INAUDIBLE) where he is. They wouldn't confirm whether he's there. We don't even know where he is right now, John.
But I think it's safe to say it has all been rather unseemly and very difficult for Meghan who's preparing for this monumental moment, one which she was hoping her father would be part of. And that would seem he might as well not be here, he will not be here to walk his daughter down the aisle. And it's really just very distressing. It's very distressing, and I think it's something that women around the world can clearly identify, where every girl who wants to get married, dreams of her father walking her down the aisle, and it's just sad that, you know, it looks like she won't get that chance, something that she had, you know, publicly been hoping would take place.
VAUSE: You know, we may not know where Thomas Markle is right now but we know where he posted his photograph a few days ago at a McDonald's drive through apparently. OK. There does seem to be a good deal of sympathy for Meghan here, maybe not so much for her half-sister though, the one with the big mouth, Samantha. Watch this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SAMANTHA MARKLE, MEGHAN MARKLE'S HALF-SISTER: I think he had the right to defend himself and get to the point where he wanted to say no, they have an obligation, an ethical obligation to allow me to be portrayed as I am, living a healthy lifestyle, not caught in unflattering positions as media vultures had done. And --
PIERS MORGAN, PRESENTER, GOOD MORNING BRITAIN: There's no bigger media vulture with this wedding than you, is there, Ms. Markle. I mean, how do you have the gall to come on air and talk about media vultures. You're just -- you're doing a book too, the Diary of Princess Pushy's Sister. You've been trashing her for two years, you little vulture.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Go Piers, go. Oh, he didn't hold back. But is that so typical about most Britain --
VAUSE: Yes. So, the view Samantha in all of this?
[02:34:59] SESAY: Listen, I think that there's no shortage of criticism for Meghan Markle's half-sister, Samantha, and people clearly see that she has had a lot of unflattering, unkind things to say about Meghan ahead of the big day.
And she herself came out and said that she was -- to use her words, the culprit behind those staged photos, and they were doing it not just to help Meghan's father but also to help the Royal family, it's all very convoluted but it's all just very unpleasant, especially when you bear in mind that this woman to the best of her knowledge, according to Meghan's father hasn't had a relationship with her half- sister for well over a decade, and it seems pretty rich that, you know, that she would go on T.V. here in the U.K. and accuse the media of being vultures when she certainly hasn't held back and, you know, running her mouth and saying anything that comes to mind about her sister, John.
VAUSE: And to that point, TMZ is reporting about that. Apparently, according to her father, Thomas, "As his eldest daughter, Samantha, talking to the press, Thomas echoed the sentiment our Meghan Markle sources have sounded, saying Samantha has had no real relationship with Meghan as an adult and has no knowledge of Meghan's relationship with Prince Harry." That has not stopped her one bit from talking to the media. She appears on television almost as much as Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels. And I guess the question is would she continue to give these interviews even after the wedding, will the press still be interested in her?
SESAY: I think the answer is yes, yes, and yes. I think she will continue to speak out as long as there's an interest and there will always be interested in the Royal family even though she has no relationship with Meghan and Prince Harry, she is still on the fringes of that circle by virtue of the fact that, you know, they share the same father and, you know, we all know how families are, they'll be -- they'll be titbits and all the rest of it, so she'll hear things and she'll make up -- one would assume conjecture here. Let me first of all say that she'll try and fill in blanks, but I think yes, John, she's not going anywhere anytime soon.
VAUSE: What a shame. And you're not going anywhere, anytime soon which is great because you're going to be there to cover the big day for us, and we'll be checking in with you for the rest of the week. Lovely to see you.
SESAY: Lovely to see you, too.
SESAY: See you then.
VAUSE: OK. We'll take a short break. When we come back, there have been plenty of Royal family dramas across the generations, and for many of them, the palace tried to keep its distance. Actually, we're going to get the story now. But Max Foster reports that's changing as younger royals respond to the tabloid media.
MAX FOSTER, CNN ROYAL CORRESPONDENT: The Royal family has never had an easy relationship with the British press. Their private lives have been a rich source of tabloid fodder, often forcing the Royals to distance themselves from potential scandals or embarrassments.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is Windsor Castle.
FOSTER: It was less than a century ago in a situation remarkably similar to today that British royal fell in love with an American divorcee. While the press reaction was somewhat muted, the public opinion was clear.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: A few hours ago, I discharged my last duty as King and Emperor.
FOSTER: Fast forward, a generation to Princess Margaret, the Queen's sister. Margaret's tempestuous love life was the stuff of much speculation and rumor, ultimately forcing the Queen to intervene. But as society's opinions change, so to do the behavior of the tabloids. In the past, royal scandals were treated in a relatively tamed way, according to modern standards, at least. By the time the Queen's daughter-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, came along, they became much more aggressive.
When the paparazzi snapped Fergie poolside with her American financial adviser, the photos were splashed across the front pages. The royal hierarchy wasn't amused, casting her aside to save its own reputation. It tried to do the same with Princess Diana after marriage to Prince Charles fell apart and she embarked on her own life each potential romance or scandal was met with tabloid delights, but a stony silence from a palace that wanted to distance itself from Prince Charles's former wife. Even in the days after her tragic death, it took the palace a while to realize that public opinion was now with the people's princess. Now, it's Prince Harry's turn whilst he too has had his fair share of front page embarrassments, he's not letting his marriage to Meghan Markle become one of them.
Well, with the world's media watching on, Prince Harry is going to marry an American divorcee with divorced parents. So, that might once have proved too much of a palace, but rather than casting her family aside, the palace had embraced them as future in laws of the Royal family. Max Foster, CNN Windsor.
(END VIDEOTAPE) [02:40:03] VAUSE: Now, it's time for a break. Spike Lee has debuted
his new film at hand, it's called "BlacKkKlansman" but it's directed as X-rated anti-Trump tirade is getting a lot of the attention.
VAUSE: Spike Lee is a sensation in this year's Cannes Film Festival but not just for his new film. The acclaimed director used the event to rip into the U.S. President. Take a look.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SPIKE LEE, AMERICAN FILM DIRECTOR: We have a guy in the White House. I'm not going to say his (BLEEP) name. And that mother (BLEEP) did not denounce the mother (BLEEP) clan, the alt-right, and those nasty mother (BLEEP).
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is David Duke, grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, that David Duke.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: God?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Last time I checked. What can I do you for?
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides. Racism is evil, and those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs. Very fine people on both sides.
LEE: And mother (BLEEP) was given a chance to say we're about love and not hate. He could have said to the world, not the United States, that we were better than that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAUSE: Thank you for watching CNN NEWSROOM live from Los Angles, I'm John Vause. Stay with us. "WORLD SPORT" is up next. You're watching CNN.
[02:45:27] PATRICK SNELL, CNN ANCHOR AND CORRESPONDENT: Hi there. Thanks for joining us and welcome to CNN WORLD SPORT. NBA superstar LeBron James and his Cleveland Cavaliers had an all to do on Tuesday night, having lost the first game of the postseason's Eastern Conference finals against the Boston Celtics.
James had appeal for calm, center was simply no need to panic after dropping the series opener. I said, back-to-back losses surely weren't on the script. LeBron, really looking the pot hear. He meant business and he certainly showed it initially. At least, he absolutely drags just see more red, backing to this the 21 point from him alone in the first quarter of this game.
A tally was tied the most points he's ever had in a playoff quarter, but then enough the joke, the system after colliding with Boston's Jayson Tatum a painful shoulder to the face and (INAUDIBLE) leading James retreating to the locker room.
He'd be back though, but by then, the Celtics have lamented with Marcus Morris tie it all up full fire up at 69 points of these, inspired by so many of these young talented Celtics. Jaylen Brown as well is going to see my 23 points as young Boston seem is nothing if not relentless determined and fearless too, overcoming a double-digit deficit the power its way to 107 points but 94 (INAUDIBLE) now have a 2-0 series advantage, much for LeBron to fonder.
Meantime, the defending champions, the Golden State Warriors will try to take a 2-0 lead over the Rockets with victory on Wednesday. The Rockets are certain to come out firing on all cylinders to try and get it right back into this, especially with a series going back to Golden State for game three and four.
Don't bet against the Warriors, though. Since 2014-15, they are formidable. 13-1 after taking Game 1 of a playoff series. All right, much look forward too, and look ahead too as well. Wednesday at the Europa League Final in the French City of Lyon, with Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid, are preparing to take on Olympic Marseille.
Later on, the first of two vague European finals this month for La Liga's Madrid-based clubs with Real taking on Liverpool in the Champions League final in the Ukraine, as well. And let you know so often in the shadow won't may Real having lost to recent Champions League finals to them in the recent campaigns but they did when the Europa league in 2010 and 2012 and they were also the chomping to Spain in 2014.
As I say, they also made it to those Champions League finals, not yet again, in 2016. Next stop for them, though, its French opponents on French soil.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DIEGO SIMEONE, MANAGER, ATLETICO MADRID FOOTBALL CLUB (through translator): Tomorrow we are playing yet another final, a loss of emotions will be involved. We have dreams at this opportunity. But we also face it to the great deal of humility, whenever we comes to this situations, we need to approach it with humility and hard work.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: Diego Simeone, and then remember, he won't be on the touchline urging his team on its all. The Argentine -- really he's the supreme motivator, he always wears his heart on his very passionate sleep and his player's response to that as well. They really do sweat blood for him, they give 100 percent. Simeone will have to watch from the stance after he lost his appeal against the four much spine following a verbal clash with officials during the first leg of the semifinal with Arsenal. He meant to spend the whole of the second leg of that tie watching very frustrated at times, from afar enjoyed celebrating the goals though. Marseille give when the European Champions League that was back in the early 1990s, but no French club is anyone, any European trophy since. And it seems the Europa League is really grown on their fans though. Just look at these images from the first game of their campaign back in September of their own Stade Velodrome, a stadium that can hold 67,000. Barely 8,000 people turning up, but the fans or even at the time calling the head coach Rudi Garcia to be shown the door, but they've turned things around superbly. And on Wednesday, they'll play in the first European Finals in 2004 when this tournament was actually called the UEFA Cup.
Well, a FIFA World Cup, still lot just under a month or so away but this the time when national team managers have to do something pretty difficult. A personal phone call the provisional all final squads are not being submitted for Russia 2018. And it means some pleasantly on tenterhooks to see if they made it, or they the ones getting the call, and what does the call tell them?
At those provisional squads, I mentioned have to be cut further to just 23 by June 4th. Brazil that the five-time Champions of the World, but the South Americans are still waiting to see if their prized asset Neymar, witnesses baffled to be fit in time following surgery on his foot earlier this year.
Last week, we learned one of the most experienced templates as the PSD defender Dani Alvez won't make it to Russia due to injury, meaning a chance for someone else and not someone else is the Corinthians defender Fagner, who is discovered he will be going to football's biggest showpiece occasion, scenes of shared joy then, and relation, but the 28 year old Brazilian.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[02:50:28] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Fagner
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SNELL: Well, a fewer Manchester City fan as well. This last few day, have also been causing for huge celebration. On Monday, the club stating an open top bus parade to shop the Premier League trophy, though. I have to say there was one notable absentee from all the merriment.
Wants disparate for right now for the club's Spanish playmaker David Silva. He has been featured in any of cities Premier League matches this year. Ever since shortly before Christmas, he's been keeping a close watch at the bedside of his baby son, Matteo, who was born prematurely. Silva revealing -- in fact, early in the New Year, that his son was fighting, "day by day" as he put it on Tuesday, though.
Came this joyous social media posting from the Spaniard, saying, quite simply, were finally going home. Adding his eternal gratitude to hospital staff. Just look at those images, a wonderful sight indeed, absolutely fantastic to see.
All right, we'll returning the focus next step on to the NHL postseason playoffs, Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin is yet to win ice hockey's biggest prize. But I wonder, is he moving ever closer?
SNELL: Welcome back. It must be a source of great frustration to NHL superstar Alexander Ovechkin that is yet to win ice hockey's biggest and most prestigious prize, the Stanley Cup. The 32 year old Russian who plays to the Washington Capitals has been the league's most valuable player three times with the remains at one clearing a mission from his career resume.
Redskin and the capitals are looking to go throughout in the Eastern Conference finals (INAUDIBLE) in front of the home front against the Tampa Bay Lightning and all the best in light from either. He failed to score in this one, and full first town determined opponents getting right back into the series.
And when brave in point found at the back of the net, it will be 4-1 to the visitors. 4-2 the final score. The real food for thought now for the capitals who seriously down to 2-1 in respect to seven and counts. The Game 4 places 39th once again in America's Capital city.
Some big news to bring you from the world, the Major League Baseball will be can tell you the Seattle Mariners star Robinson Cano, one of the sports best play players is now facing an eighty game suspension following a failed drug test.
Cano was from the Dominican Republic and his currently on a ten year $240 million contract. Reported to have tested positive rebound substance while on a visit to his homeland on Tuesday, the 35 year old issuing a statement which read in part, "Today, I decided to accept MLB's suspension. This was the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life. But ultimately, the right decision given that I do not dispute that I was given the substance, I apologize to my family friends, fans, teammates, and the Mariners' organization.
Well, Cano, won the 2009 World Series, the sport's biggest prize when he was with the fame New York Yankees. He's an eight-time All-Star with 305, career home runs to his name.
When it comes to Rugby Sevens, is one country that continues to set the bar very high indeed that would be Fiji in 2016. The Fijians deliver their country's first ever Olympic gold in Rio, but what or need who is a secret to their success? The South Pacific island nation also on the wall suits, well, seven series in both 2015 and 16. And this year, they won four of last five legs of the current series on the well place the economic triumph.
The former Welsh player Gareth Baber, the head coach is bringing out the best in them right now. And as he told our Christina Macfarlane, the partnership has been mutually beneficial.
[02:56:06] GARETH BABER, COACH, FIJI NATIONAL RUGBY SEVENS TEAM: I think the -- for the outcome you see is the way that is the way that they place. So, the less plays around perhaps using the wit of the field to pass the ball consecutively over numbers of time you'll taking contact areas.
They like to play the ball with pastry like to play with engaging defenses but also being able to use the ball around their body a lot in France space brothers, a bit like basketball. One of bigger, bigger field.
From me, when it comes from and to drive up and down, the queens always, so you'll see games play boy kids or along the street. And they will be playing on the ruble, they'll be playing on dirt, they'll be playing on (INAUDIBLE) on times. Probably, similar to the likes of Brazilian soccer.
CHRISTINA MACFARLANE, CNN INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: One other aspect here that we noticed to look up was religion. Biblical the being done, even during 20 sessions. That must be an unusual circumstance for you, as well.
BABER: I obviously born up in city of Welsh. I was an altar boy. So, you know, I have -- I have a good reference when it comes to Christianity and whatever religion it would be. What if he here is obviously very much based around what these kids are growing up doing? And it is very much part of rugby.
I say the community and faith, and rugby, very, very tighten that admitted. And when I came in I realized that this is the something I want to change, this is something I want to embrace.
MACFARLANE: When you first came here to Fiji, isn't that I found you, perhaps to see so much homes and (INAUDIBLE) as where these players come from.
BABER: You know, it's fantastic when you go down on the reach, because these people don't have a lot in their lives. Yet, never know some of the people here are going to be to the ball. What I found quite unnerving is I'm gotten to places and people thank me for coaching the team. They say thank you for the job you're doing.
I never have that before. You're well done, or you're doing OK, or whatever but never thank you. You know, the thank you mean for what I'm doing for their country and that's, that's you know, fantastic situation to be in, and you know, it's a great experience me to have.
SNELL: Fascinating insight there. Thanks for joining us, do joining us for later Wednesday edition to WORLD SPORT. Stay with CNN, back next.